I love to read and learn things, especially about martial arts. Below are just a few of the books I have read and highly recommend.
The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu
Wong Kiew Kit
"Shaolin Kung Fu sounds like magic to many people, for they have learned that it is not only an effective martial art and an excellent system for health and vitality, it is also a way to spiritual joy. Those who have the privilege to meet genuine Shaolin masters or to have a more than superficial knowledge of Shaolin tradition will appreciate that this is not an exaggerated claim. Shaolin Kung Fu, together with the related arts of Shaolin Chi Kung and Zen or meditation, was taught in great secrecy in Shaolin Monastery, which is reguarded and the 'foremost monastery beneath heaven'." -The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu
History, Philosophy and Technique
David Chow & Richard Spangler
"Kung Fu should be used only to preserve the natural flow of life, to avoid divert, neutralize or blend with any destructive force."
"In basic training, a Kung Fu devotee would have to go through a series of strenous exercises with "deliberate efforts" to ensure proper body conditioning. Following continuos physical practice, day after day, year after year, his highly controlled punches, kicks and blocks would become mentaly refined to the point of spontaneous reaction. Any oncoming danger could be thwarted by an intuitive or "natural" response with his carefully develpoed protective visceral reflex, an inseparable part of his being." -Kung Fu
The Essence of T'ai Chi
"According to T'ai Chi theory, the abilities of the human body are capable of being developed beyond their commonly conceived potential. Civilization can be improved to the highest levels of achievement. Creativity has no boundaries whatsoever, and the human mind should have no restrictions or barriers placed upon its capabilities." -The Essence of Tai Chi
Zen in the Martial Arts
"A dojo is a miniature cosmos where we make contact with ourselves - our fears, anxieties, reactions, and habits. It is an arena of confined conflict where we confront an opponent who is not an opponent but rather a partner engaged in helping us understand ourselves more fully. It is a place where we can learn a great deal in a short time about who we are and how we react in the world. The conflicts that take place inside the dojo help us handle conflicts that take place outside. The total concentration and discipline required to study martial arts carries over to daily life. The activity in the dojo calls on us to constantly attempt new things, so it is also a source of learning - in Zen terminology, a source of self-enlightenment." -Zen in tehe Martial Arts
"When I was twenty-one what I admired most was the tremendous skill of the monks. I wanted to be that good at something, anything. But as I watched this old man, what most impressed me was the devotion. It was what had allowed this culture to survive- and thrive- despite the traumas. As he finished his form, what I wanted was to love something, anything, as fiercely as he so obviously loved Shaolin kungfu." - American Shaolin
Charles Hackney, PHD
"Every one of us live with this enemy. It is a part of each of us that screams out "me first" and demands to be satisfied no matter who gets hurt along the way (and the includes hurting oneself in the long term to gain satisfaction in the short term)."
The Five Ancestors Series
This is a historical fiction series of books targeted for kids. It tells the tail of six young Kung Fu and Tai Chi masters who must make their way through the dark and dangerous streets of ancient China. Their Kung Fu and friendships both tested and strengthened as they journey.
Everyone seems to become enthralled when they pick these books up.
This link Goes to the author's Amazon page.